In the Wallachia region of Romania in 1835, two bounty hunters go off in search of Carfin (Cuzin), a runaway gypsy slave who is accused of sleeping with his master’s wife. Costandin (Corban) a garrulous gendarme, is accompanied by his son and apprentice Ionita (Comanoiu). Together they cross paths with travelers, slave traders and priests, all the while bantering with each other until they find Carfin and bring him back to his accuser.
Jude’s third feature employs sly wit to sling salient arrows at the rampant cruelty and hypocrisy of the time. Shot in black and white, and comprised of scenic wide-shots of the Romanian countryside, Jude’s period road movie lays a map for today’s lingering ethnic racism in Eastern Europe. With ribald humor, profanities, prejudice, and shocking violence on full display, this picaresque tale is even more trenchant for its characters’ seemingly blithe acceptance of the unacceptable.